One of the most notable things about Broughton’s Holliday Gymnasium is its immense Hall of Fame display. The exhibit features accolades from all of the school’s sports teams and memorabilia from its past superstars.
But it’s missing something: a volleyball state championship.
This year’s Caps are out to change that.
With Saturday’s dramatic four-set victory over Hoggard (25-15, 21-25, 25-9, 27-25) in the fourth round of the NCHSAA 4A playoffs, Broughton (20-0) advances to the semifinals and is now one win away from a state championship appearance.
From the beginning of the season, the Caps believed as a team that making it to the state championship was a reasonable goal.
“It feels amazing that all our hard work is paying off,” said junior captain Katja Ehlers. “We’re just going to keep pushing forward.”
Getting past Hoggard (22-3) wasn’t easy, though.
In what was a back-and-forth match, the two teams traded wins during the first two games before Broughton went ahead two sets to one after a dominant third frame.
The Caps found success with their attack at times and were aided down the stretch by Hoggard errors.
A balanced effort by Broughton made things tough for Hoggard, as Ehlert led the Caps with 24 kills. Junior Tiana Butler was second on the team with 15 and junior Kati Smith added 11.
Hoggard, playing to extend its season, fought back in the fourth set and looked ready to send the game to a fifth and final set as the Vikings led 15-9.
Broughton mounted a comeback and tied the set for the first time at 23-23.
From there, the Caps were able to stave off Hoggard, winning 27-25.
First-year Broughton coach Jim Freeman understands the importance of his team’s win, but he feels fortunate it’s still alive.
“That was a huge win,” Freeman said. “Nerve-wracking. We’re really happy to be moving forward, though.”
Broughton will host the winner of Rose and East Chapel Hill on Tuesday in the semifinals.